Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders
Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

121. NYI -177. MSGSN. 12/16. 9:30 PM. 17-12-1. 106. 9-14-4

The NY Islanders, who are coming off a shootout loss against the Boston Bruins and have gone 2-4-1 in their last seven games, will continue their road trip to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena.

Last Game

The Islanders started off very well against the Bruins, who sit atop the NHL standings, but went down 2-0 early off of two goals from Jake DeBrusk in the first period. They weren't phased and responded about four minutes later with a Josh Bailey deflection past Linus Ullmark. Noah Dobson would tie it at two in the second period, before allowing a shorthanded goal to Derek Forbort. Casey Cizikas once again tied the game for New York in the third, where it would stay until the game was ultimately decided in a shootout. The Islanders lost the shootout 2-1, with Mat Barzal scoring, Brock Nelson hitting the post and Bailey missing the mark. Semyon Varlamov played well after letting up two early goals, posting 30 saves on 33 shots in the loss.

Arizona is coming off of a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night in San Jose. The Sharks went up 2-0 early in the first off of goals by Tomas Hertl and Nick Bonino, but Lawson Crouse would get the Yotes on the board with a power play goal before the frame ended. Nico Sturm scored the eventual game-winner in the second period for San Jose, and Nick Bjugstad cut the lead in half in the third to give the Coyotes a chance, but they could not put another one past James Reimer. The Coyotes did not register more than nine shots in any period against the Sharks. Karel Vejmelka made 30 saves on 33 shots in the loss.

Historical Matchup

The Islanders are 2-1 against the Coyotes in their last three meetings and all three of those games ended in shutout fashion. Last season, the Islanders took down the Coyotes by a 3-0 score in Arizona, and 4-0 at UBS Arena. Cal Clutterbuck scored the game-winner in the first period, followed by goals from Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. In the second game, Scott Mayfield and Austin Czarnik made it 2-0 early in the first before Nelson would net another pair, both assisted by Bailey. Ilya Sorokin picked up the shutout in both games, making 26 saves in Arizona and just needing 17 at home. The Isles were recently shut out by Vejmelka and the Coyotes at home 2-0 just over a month ago, with the Yotes getting two third-period goals from Travis Boyd and Jack McBain.

Players to Watch

Brock Nelson had the better of the Coyotes last season in the Islanders' two victories, scoring three goals to go along with one assist. Nelson has recorded at least one point in nine of his last 11 games, and he is coming off of a two-assist game in Boston on Tuesday night. He also has eight goals and 15 points against the Coyotes in his career in just 17 games. Brock is arguably the Islanders' best all-around player, and he'll look to stay on the score sheet to help the Islanders get a much-needed win.

Brock Nelson, Ilya Sorokin
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

When most think of skilled players on the Coyotes' offense, they will turn to Clayton Keller who leads the team in scoring, but Matias Maccelli is making a name for himself as a rookie this season. The former 4th round draft pick in 2019 has registered two goals and 18 assists for 20 points in 25 games this season and has gotten eight of those points on the power play. The Islanders will certainly need to keep watch of the pass-first winger, who has gotten plenty of minutes on the second line.

Projected Lines


Anders Lee-Mat Barzal-Oliver Wahlstrom
Josh Bailey-Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier*
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Kyle Palmieri*
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Robin Salo-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

* - Palmieri and Beauvillier are considered game-time decisions.
IR: Adam Pelech
Extras: Hudson Fasching, Simon Holmstrom, Ross Johnston.


Clayton Keller-Travis Boyd-Nick Schmaltz
Lawson Crouse-Nick Bjugstad-Matias Macceli
Liam O'Brien-Jack McBain-Christian Fischer
Nick Ritchie-Barrett Hayton-Juuso Valimaki

Jacob Chychrun-Shayne Gostisbehere
J.J. Moser-Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth-Troy Stecher

Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram

Line combos courtesy of Daily Faceoff.